Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Netting the Berries

There are three Robin nests and one Cardinal nest on my little urban farm. Last month, those pesky little buggers considered it their responsibility to peck one hole in every strawberry. Now it's the blueberries they love. 

Garden centers sell bird netting designed to protect crops. We've never purchased that kind of netting, but friends recently gave us one large net because they disliked how the netting entrapped little critters, causing panic and torture.

I buy netting at the discount fabric store. There are two kinds of netting: soft netting designed for dance costumes and sturdy netting designed for craft projects. I cut the sturdy stuff into 3 yard lengths and lay it directly over the strawberry plants, tucking in at the edges of the raised beds. This netting lasts for a few seasons before needing to be replaced.

This year we've designed a simple structure of PVC pipe to suspend the netting over the blueberry bushes. The ends are clothes-pinned to the chicken wire fences. One day I noticed a male Cardinal flapping about under one net, but he escaped at the open end and did not return. Success!


  1. Yes. Those friends be we. Panic and torture, and nightmares. Glad you have had success!

  2. Great ideas! We used a bird net for our cherry three the last couple of years but it's just about outgrown it, I kept an eye on it for trapped birds but we didn't have any issues, thankfully. We were brainstorming a cage-like system for next year but I like this PVC idea too. Our worst enemies for strawberries are chipmunks, who squeeze or eat through a lot of netting unfortunately.

  3. My little blue berry bush has about 7 berries. I got to eat the 2 ripe ones. I had so many cherries this year I didn't mind sharing a few with birds. Think a giant balloon on netting would keep our Japanese beetles. They've been terrible again this year.